Menghai Tea Factory (berylleb on ebay)

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Recent Tasting Notes

65

I bought a 50g sample of this after reading all the rave reviews on Steepster, but sadly it was a little disappointing. The tea is pretty good—strong with that Menghai bitterness. But it’s just sort of…flat. Hard to describe—this tea just tastes so average, with very few flavors jumping out at me. It’s sort of like eating mild salsa. It tastes like salsa, it looks like salsa, but it’s just not as interesting as eating the spicier, more interesting stuff.

mrmopar

Did this one just arrive in the mail? I always try to let any puerh sit in open air a few days when I get them in. They can go flat during the shipping process. And if I know Berylleb there is a little desiccant packet in with the tea in the envelope. They suck all the moisture out of the tea.

JWhisk

Huh, that could be it. I’m gonna try sticking it in my trusty pumidor bucket, will report back.

mrmopar

I think that will help. They all taste flat to me right out of the box. Try it in a week as that is usually how long I wait. Cakes , sometimes a month.

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Although I mostly drink black tea, the past while everything started tasting the same, and even worse, not tasting good. So, I pulled out some pu’reh samples I have had stashed away as I had a feeling that is what I needed.. And I was right. This is what I want to drink now.

This tea in particular is so delicious, and although I am not able yet to describe any flavors other than smooth and darkly sweet, this is what I want to drink everyday. Since this is the last of my sample it will not be this particular tea, but this taste is what I want and am craving for now.

Thank you to a very special tea friend who sent these wonderful samples to me last year – I am lucky to have been touched by your kindness.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML
Whiteantlers

Nice to see you reviewing again!

caile

Thank you! I’m not very good at it but thought I’d give it a try.

Whiteantlers

There are no ‘rules’ so don’t worry about good and not so good. :-)

boychik

Im glad to see you reviewing again

caile

My thanks to you

mrmopar

Nice to see ya!

caile

You as well! :)

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75

Price: £27.80 ($42.53) / 250g in box.

5g in Gaiwan.
75/100
On a good day: 82/100
On a bad day: 65/100

Hot gaiwan: Smouldering wood.
Wet: Dry, dusty, smokey, dark fruit.

Summary: Clear, swelling raisin sweetness is joined by honey sweetness to give a floral profile. Not concentrated herbal here. It does have a stimulating grip. The number of steeps it gives is fairly limited.
The problem with this tea is it’s a bit hit and miss when brewing. Some days it has an excellent honey sweetness I’ve not come across, then other days it is flat and fairly plain and mildly astringent. However, it was worth buying to taste that honey sweetness.

5s – Med orange; slightly cloudy. Mild raisins; very gentle bitterness; light body. A bit thin.
15s – Med orange/gold. Thicker. Raisin sweetness swells, and a honey sweetness sparkling returns.
20s – Med orange/gold. Not so much honey sweetness this time. I think it wants brewing longer for that.
30s – Med orange/gold. Honey and floral. The returning sweetness is there.

https://instagram.com/p/7svP9EIDsVIbVDF9_w_lvnJPDbkk3XFUasAwc0/?taken-by=tea_1234
https://instagram.com/p/7swl0ioDudXsMjeziLcM_5N82CGyAFyxXZYSU0/?taken-by=tea_1234

Flavors: Honey, Raisins

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I have to admit right now that after drinking W2T’s Rapave, all other raw pu’erhs have new standards to meet.

This tea has one great mouth with a nice spunk to its taste. One can tell that it is a new cake, but that does not mean that it has astringency all throughout it; in fact, after steep 4 was smooth sailing for me. The liquid has medium thickness as I swish it around in my mouth. My favorite part of this tea is the lingering taste that has to go for at least four minutes… but I’m not sure its longevity because I have to keep drinking to remember its taste or my mouth will be mad at me.

Personally, I think the semi dry mouth that comes with the great feeling will dissipate over the years. I’d love to taste this one in a few years… which means I may end up picking up a cake if it combats with the Yunann Sourcing cake I just bought. Thankfully I have enough of each to have steeping battle between the two (aka, comparison)

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80

my “2008” puerh for today. this one is a smooth tasting puerh. After a few steeps i still haven’t gotten a handle on it. it’s sweet..and very much a shou. Some elements of rich cocoa… hmmm enjoying this so far. but glad i have the day to explore.

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80

I have been up since forever this morning and because of that, i’m trying to get through a few puerh that i haven’t yet tried, in the event i ever get around to being allowed to place an order. so i randomly pulled a 2007, 2008 and 2009 out of my cupboard of various puerhs to see what was what.
this particular one, is slow to build – the initial rinse and few steeps being lighter but still smooth and tasty. It reminds me of a few other puerhs that i’ve had – being nothing spectacular, but still an enjoyable drink. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

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Damp earth and woods with a deep velvety sweetness. Dark and comforting.

A sample from a special tea friend – thank you!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Dexter

Nice – I’ve been looking at this one for awhile now, might need to break down and get some. Glad you enjoyed it. :))

mrmopar

A good one Dex.

caile

Dexter, I still have some of the sample left if you’d like to try it.

Sil

i totally have some of mine earmarked for dex….but she won’t let me send her box yet :)

caile

haha, ok. ;)

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91

i don’t have time to wax poetic on this one, but rest assured this will be purchased AGAIN, as the last little bit of my sample is going in to Terri’s box of doom. hahaha. I really enjoyed this one and can see myself drinking it fairly often.

Final Count: 98 (woot woot!)

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91

In an effort to relax a little today, i’m trying to spend some time at home cleaning and organising things while drinking some of my puerh. I haven’t had time to really sit down with any in the last little while so today is all about that. I worked from my blackberry yesterday to run errands since the entire team was basically off, so that i would have more time today for myself before my other half gets home for a couple days. Our lives are incredibly insane these days and a small part of me wishes the wedding was later lol.

we meet with the officiant tomorrow and our wedding coordinator within the next week or so…it’s all moving too fast!

this shou made me stop. I feel so out of practice with tea these days. It’s like i’m back to the “i like this or i don’t like this” versus where i was at being able to better describe what i was tasting. this is smooth with zero bitterness. It’s not too bold or an earthy sort of shou. I really like it. When i’m allowed to buy tea again, I’ll be picking up more of this one.

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74

Just broke this cake out again to take it for a spin. Picked off just under 7gm and placed it in a small yi xing gaiwan. The tea is definitely evolving. The soup was clearer and had a lot of tingle on the tongue Still, a subtle brew but I’m beginning to appreciate the sophistication of this blend. I’m kicking up my rating and will try it again in a few months and report back.

Below the original review:
Bought this a couple of months ago and just got around to tasting it. It’s my first full-sized Dayi cake but, unfortunately, I am not impressed. I’ve drunk a lot of shou over the last 2 or 3 years and there’s something sorely lacking in this cake. It’s kind of dull tasting, nothing objectionable but not at all sweet and steeps out after about 6 times. I expected a treat and found it very disappointing. Planning to let it sit a while and see what happens but I don’t have high hopes for any improvement.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

The 2008 from the same production is very nice. I have 2 of this same year aging away. I think they are still too young to sample.

Arster

I’ve tasted it since I rated it and it’s either getting better or I’m over my sinus infection :). Still rather thin and lacking in certain flavor centers I’ve come to expect from ripe puerh. None-the-less, keeping an open mind and a closed cupboard and will see what happens up the road.

mrmopar

I can envelope you a sample of the 2008 if you want. Just PM me.

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94

This was a wonderful brew! The dry beeng is loosely threaded thick roots of dark green with slight platinum and brass dustings. They have a very strong smoky aroma. I placed a generous amount of leaf in my warmed yixing, so that these tendrils would awaken. The warmed leaf gave off a bitter seaweed aroma. I brewed this Dayi beauty up. The flavor is truly beautiful. This brew is silky smooth with a thick mouthfeel. I was getting a graham cracker pie crust tone with sweet apricot. This drink has a lasting huigan, yet it is also complemented with a tasteful bitterness. This bitterness lasts throughout the session. My yixing yielded a thick orange broth for a decent amount of steepings. However, I did need to add an extra gram to my pot at about the third steeping, for I wanted a thicker more powerful brew. The cha qi from this session is rather strong. I acquired a full head and smooth body feel, in which I thoroughly enjoyed. I really liked this brew, and I am happy to have been guided towards acquiring it.

https://instagram.com/p/4X2nmOTGbI/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Bitter, Cherry Wood, Graham, Seaweed, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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91

This tea is excellent. It is slightly bitter in the early steeps. There was a bitter aftertaste that never completely went away. There was a certain sweetness from the beginning, you might describe it as apricot depending on your point of view. While I can’t use the term tea drunk, this tea had a relaxing effect on me and I believe a strong cha qi. This was overall an enjoyable tea.

I steeped this tea ten times in a 150ml gaiwan with 8g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 minute. This was a high quality tea with nice looking leaves. The leaves were not finished even though I was. The tea liquid was still a nice color of yellow in the tenth steep. I am sure this tea would have gone fifteen or more steeps.

Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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From the Sheng and Shou TTB.

I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile, so jumped on the last little bit in the box. I enjoyed a few infusions last night and then returned to it this morning because the leaf was still not fully opened. It was smooth, sweet, and I think I got some date flavor at the beginning. Definitely a good one and I wish I had more to play with.

MzPriss

I like this one. Sarsy LOVES it – one of her faves.

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95

Finally! Dark orange liquor!

This is the first nicely aged sheng i have tried that i can truly rant to my friends about.

meduim-low astringency throughout , very very little kuwei (bitter), the best part about this tea is the huigan (returning sweetness), that lasts throughout the entire session, and long after youve stopped drinking.
I found this 250g brick for 28 dollars including shipping.
I was very skeptical of this bricks authenticity, not able to find much info on it (typical for puerh) but i was able to find a picure of this brick in a book, it seemed to check out.

I love this tea

Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Earth, Honey, Sweet, Wet Rocks

Preparation
10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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86

This tea is an interesting sheng. The color of the leaves were dark black. The tea liquid was light orange in color by the second steep. Perhaps you would describe it as dark yellow. There was an initial bitter character that took a while to disperse. Even in the twelfth steep there was some bitterness. The tea did develop some sweetness to it but I would not describe it as apricots or stonefruits. There was also a smoky character to the tea, deep but not biting. This smoky character remained to some degree even in steep twelve. I also believe I detected the beginning of an aged flavor if that is a good way to describe it, or perhaps I was just tasting the smoke, I don’t know. This was an enjoyable tea that had aged a fair bit, despite being only a 2011 tea. This was also a strong tea, even in steep twelve it had a nice golden color to it. I think this one would easily go twenty steeps if I had any desire to continue past twelve. I don’t usually take a puerh past eight or ten. This is also the first Meng Song raw tea I have tried. I have not delved much into specific regions and don’t know if a smoky character is common to Meng Song teas or if that is from the processing.

I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.1g leaf and 200 degree water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.

Flavors: Bitter, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
mrmopar

This is a good one and from a single estate source.

tea123

One word: ordered. Cheers guys.

AllanK

The one thing I would love to know about this tea is it typical of Meng Song teas?

tea123

I have now tasted this tea and you’re review to me is accurate: the tea is strong, smoky and the fruitiness is neither apricot or stone fruits. It does look, however, well-made and good in the presentation box! I’m hoping this will improve because at the moment I’m a bit dissappointed :(

AllanK

It is too bad you didn’t like the tea. I liked it despite the smoky character.

mrmopar

Mine has been in the pumi a while so it has developed a bit more since the first time I tried it.

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88

Thank you so much boychick for this sample! I am finally getting to trying and reviewing this tea. The leaves are nice and dark, it come apart easily into my gaiwan.

I rinsed twice, then steeped it for 5sec/5/5/10/10/20/20/20/20/30……

I’m on my second day, and boy, I’m glad I let it rest overnight, it became a much happier shupu after a good night’s rest. I rinsed it twice and did three flash brews, and the color and flavor were quite light. This morning and afternoon, it became a much richer color, texture and flavor. Hot summer rain and wet moss notes combined with some nice cocoa and mushrooms. I had to take a break earlier, I was getting a bit too teadrunk on it!

boychik

yay, so glad you like it. its one of my many many favorites haha

Tealizzy

Ooh! I pulled a sample of this from the TTB. Gotta try it!

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This is an aged tea. It brews up a dark orange color. It had little bitterness in the initial two steeps then bitterness emerged in the third steep. It is a strong in your face sort of tea. Unfortunately, it also had a pronounced sour note to it. I do not know if I brewed it wrong but it was sour in character throughout ten steeps. On the plus side it had none of the unpleasant aged character teas often develop and the sour note may be a matter of having used too much tea. I will refrain from giving this a rating until I get a chance to try again.

I brewed this ten times in a 120ml gaiwan with 10.5g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, and 1 min.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
mrmopar

This is till young being pressed into a brick. I think it needs another decade on it to be right.

mrmopar

still typo.

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This one still needs a couple more years to clear up and lose the funk. Has a nice port smell I’m not tasting in the cup, mostly getting earthy and woody flavors. I’m surprised at how similar this is to 7572, flavor-wise, but more twiggy. A little disappointing a “tribute” cake is this twiggy. But it is early days with this cake, a couple more years and it could be stunning.

I am really grateful for the generous sample, since this cake is now costing $70 from Berylleb. I think this price is 2x too much to pay at this point, but perhaps the cake is getting scarce and that is the reason for the high tag. Paying for the label? But right now I can buy white2tea’s 2014 Lao Cha Tou, same gram weight as a full cake of this tea, for half the price, and a much better cup. Still, that thought won’t stop me from drinking this up.

Flavors: Decayed wood, Earth

Stephanie

I love this shou! I’m a big fan of Lao Cha Tuo too :)

Yang-chu

Makers swear by the twigs, which they say adds to the flavour when aging. The bit about twigs comes up regularly with fu-cha as well. Evidently, there is something in the twigs that assists in the fermentation process. What is your experience?

@ Steph (tou cf tuo)

Stephanie

lol tououous

Cwyn

Twigs and roots must be boiled to extract any flavor beyond what has accumulated on the surface of the twig from other leaves. I say it is BS that they add flavor, they are filler, but most likely it is a cheaper process to include the twigs. If they have to be removed, the only way is by hand, labor intensive and time consuming. Nobody is going to do it. With high grades of tea, these are usually small batch and very expensive and so hand processing for quality is more likely. But factory made tea cakes of chop sold cheap will have the twigs.

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88

This seems to be a popular tea on Steepster and I like it too. I just bought a sample so I don’t have a lot, but so far it’s really good.

As others have noted it doesn’t have much fermentation flavor, it is very smooth and rich. I am getting notes of chocolate and cinnamon in my cup. Overall, a very pleasant shu that has a tiny bit of bittersweetness that reminds me of toasted grain.

I am bummed that I broke my yixing for wuyi oolongs (just when I was starting to use it more). I guess I will on the lookout for another one soon! ;)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec
boychik

Oh nooooo :(. Which one ?

TeaBrat

the black one – check my IG

boychik

So sorry. I loved that pot.

TeaBrat

me too. oh well….

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83

spent the morning with multiple steepings of this in the little glass gaiwan. happy-making!

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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